190712 Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar Image Credit: IANS

YouTuber Rashid Siddiquee has opposed the defamation notice issued against him by actor Akshay Kumar in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput death case and refused to pay Rs5 billion in damages sought by the star, saying there was nothing defamatory in his videos.

Siddiquee has also urged Kumar to withdraw the notice, failing which he would initiate “appropriate legal proceedings” against the actor.

Kumar had on November 17 issued a defamation notice against Siddiquee seeking Rs5 billion in damages for making “false and baseless allegations” against him in Rajput’s death case.

Kumar, in the notice sent through law firm I C Legal, said Siddiquee in his YouTube channel FF News has published several “defamatory, libelous and derogatory” videos.

Siddiquee, in his reply sent through his advocate J P Jayswal on Friday, said the allegations made by Akshay Kumar were “false, vexatious and oppressive and is raised with an intent to harass him”.

It added that following the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, several independent reporters, including Siddiquee, covered the news as many influential people were involved and other prominent media channels were not providing correct information.

The reply further claimed that every Indian citizen has the fundamental right to freedom of speech.

It added that the content uploaded by Siddiquee cannot be considered as defamatory and that they are to be treated as viewpoints with objectivity.

“The news reported by Siddiquee was already in the public domain and he [Siddiquee] has placed reliance on other news channels as sources,” the reply said.

It further questioned the delay in the defamation notice sent and said the videos were uploaded in August 2020.

“The damages of Rs 500 crore are absurd and unwarranted and are made with the intent to pressurise Siddiquee,” the reply said.

Siddiquee sought Kumar to withdraw the notice and said if it is not done, he would initiate appropriate legal proceedings.